137

Project O: Now as Then

BY

Sign in to view read count
Project O: Now as Then
Leaderless dates aren't an everyday occurrence in jazz, nor are organ trio sessions featuring trumpet rather than, say, guitar. This particular collaboration, Project O, features Ingrid Jensen on trumpet, Gary Versace on organ and Jon Wikan on drums. The three principals have found a supportive home for their labor of love on Montreal's Justin Time label, and they make a point of devoting the back flap to the faces not only of special guests Steve Wilson (alto sax, alto flute), Christine Jensen (alto/soprano sax) and Seamus Blake (tenor sax) but also engineer/mixer/masterer Paul Wickliffe.

It's an unusually poignant thank-you to the soundman, and the music is indeed captured beautifully. The program begins with a complex reading of "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes" that moves from loping 7/4 to a faster 4/4 swing in the bridge and finally to a funk coda. "R Hour," one of two Jensen/Wikan co-creations, follows in mellow swing time; its nine-bar A section and AAB form throw the listener slightly off-balance. Versace plays chordlessly to open Jensen's solo; she enhances the effect with clever partial muting. We also hear from Steve Wilson on alto sax.

As it happens, Versace's moody, straight-eighth piece "Now As Then" is the only time we hear the trio alone, without guest soloists. Following this, Seamus Blake, who played on the opening standard, returns for his understated waltz "Periwinkle." Mary Lou Williams' "Gloria," heard in a light but spirited funk feel, is one of Project O's creative peaks, with a restrained yet quite difficult shout chorus following the organ solo and an ecstatic round of trading between sisters Ingrid and Christine (the latter playing soprano sax).

The second Wikan/Jensen piece, "Silver Prelude/Silver Twilight," begins with dark scene- setting harmonies before morphing into a waltz; Steve Wilson's alto flute blends sumptuously with the organ. Wikan's straight-eighth original "Tony's Town" provides another feature for Seamus Blake and paves the way for the finale, a mid-tempo hard bop tune by Christine Jensen called "Dilemma." Steve Wilson and the younger Jensen trade increasingly shorter statements on alto saxophones; Ingrid breaks up the fight with a reflective but firm statement of her own.

For an especially rich comparative listen, check out Larry Young's newly reissued Mother Ship (Blue Note) featuring Lee Morgan on trumpet, Herbert Morgan on tenor and Eddie Gladden on drums.

Track Listing

1. The Night Has A Thousand Eyes 2. R Hour 3. Now As Then 4. Periwinkle 5. Gloria 6. Silver Prelude/Silver Twilight 7. Tony's Town 8. Dilemma

Personnel

Ingrid Jensen, Trumpet; Gary Versace, Organ; Jon Wikan, Drums. Guests: Steve Wilson, Alto Sax on 1 and 4, Alto Flute on 6; Seamus Blake, Tenor Sax on 2, 3, 5 and 7; Christine Jensen, Alto Sax on 1 and 8, Soprano Sax on 7

Album information

Title: Now As Then | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Harmonyville Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Take That Back
Joan Hutton & Sue Orfield
A New Light
Eric Goletz
Blue Vision
Eric Person
Natten
Bremer/McCoy
Dancing Shadows
Tyler Mitchell
A Soft Day's Night
Bridge Of Flowers
Dedications
The Larry Douglas Alltet
Soul In Plain Sight
Angelika Niescier & Alexander Hawkins

Popular

The 7th Hand
Immanuel Wilkins
12 Stars
Melissa Aldana
2 Blues For Cecil
Andrew Cyrille, William Parker & Enrico Rava

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.